Did you know that 15% of romantic partners suffer from sexless relationships?
Sex is an important aspect of any marriage or relationship. So when it fizzles out, it can affect your emotional connection with your significant other.
The good news?
You can repair a sexless marriage or relationship through improved communication. By being open and discussing any relationship problems, both parties can learn how to create emotional intimacy, come closer, and build a fantastic sex life.
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How to Talk to Your Partner About Lack of Intimacy
According to research from Georgia State University, as many as 15% of romantic partners go without sex for about 6-12 months. If you can relate to this, you’re not alone.
Whether you’re in a sexless marriage or relationship, the best way to deal with intimacy issues is by communicating.
Here are eight ways you can talk to your partner about the lack of intimacy:
1. Self Reflect And Understand Your Sexual Style
The first thing you need to do is reflect on yourself before analyzing your romantic relationship.
Try to identify what’s not working in your sex life and how you could be contributing to them. During regular sexy times, ask yourself if you:
- Have a low sex drive
- Initiate sex
- Pressure your significant other to have sex
- Ask for feedback from your partner
Here are six common sexual styles:
- Funny: You enjoy laughing and teasing in bed, and the tone is playful and light.
- Tender: This sexual style is all about tender, physical affection and sensations! Sex can be romantic, gentle, and healing, involving light touches and massages (maybe with some lube!).
- Lusty: You prefer intense physical sensations while being sexy and flirty. This can include seductive looks, sex in unconventional locations, dirty talk, etc.
- Angry: Having sex after a fight can be both hot and healing. But, make sure the both of you discuss the issues later.
- Spiritual: You enjoy connecting with your partner holistically (mind, body, and soul). This style revolves around deep appreciation and love for each other.
- Fantasy: This sexual style is ideal if you love role play, experimenting, and other fantasy-related sex. Just be sure to set guidelines and respect your partner’s limits.
Remember, you may not necessarily have only one style that works for you; you can have more or enjoy a combination!
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2. Set The Right Tone And Mood
Set the right tone and mood before talking to your partner about your relationship issues.
Choose a comfortable, relaxing location — plan a date at your favorite restaurant or cozy up at home with your favorite music selections.
3. Start On A Positive Note
Ease into the conversation by sharing what you hope you can achieve in terms of intimacy and a healthy relationship. Then, ask your partner about their emotional and physical relationship goals.
This exercise will help your sexual intimacy conversation on two fronts:
You don’t begin on a negative note that could lead to defensiveness or anger.
Your partner can focus on the bigger picture or goal and not on insecurities and fears.
If you get off-topic, gently bring it back to the bigger picture — the vision of optimal intimacy.
4. Stay On Topic
Talking about sexual activity and intimacy problems as a couple can feel super awkward.
You may want to skirt the topic by talking about other things.
But, just rip off the bandaid, be honest, and get to the point.
You can pre-plan discussion points and even rehearse what you want to say so you don’t miss anything important.
In case you need a little more guidance on what intimacy topics to cover, here are a few suggestions:
- Family planning and safe sex
- Sexual health
- General low sexual desire or desire discrepancy
- Libido (sex drive) changes due to menopause
- Lack of sexual satisfaction
- Sexual dysfunction
- Frequency of sexual activity
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5. Avoid Blaming Your Partner
When discussing your sexual relationship, don’t play the blame game at any point. Ensure you are respectful of each other throughout the conversation.
After all, it takes two to tango, and you're in this together.
The best thing you can do for your marriage or relationship is work together to create healthy patterns, build sexual interest, and rectify the situation.
6. Listen And Understand Your Partner’s Perspective
After you’ve said your piece, allow your partner to process what you’ve said and speak their mind. So, make sure you’re listening — this is key to a healthy relationship.
There can be various issues that have led to a lack of intimacy in your marriage or relationship. So, you must make it a point to understand your significant other’s point of view.
7. Figure It Out Together
When approaching any problem in your relationship or marriage, remember that both of you are on one team. And, it will take the two of you as a couple to get to the bottom of the sexual problem and find a solution.
So, collaborate and identify what does and doesn’t work for you and your S.O.
You can discuss your feelings, sexual desire, limits, and sexual needs. Then, note down a few things to try that may solve the lack of intimacy.
Another aspect to determine together is a game plan when neither one of you wants to have sexual relations. The conversation flow could include:
- Explaining why you don’t want to have sex (Eg: ‘I’m feeling tired because of…’, ‘I’m feeling stressed because…’, ‘My sex drive is a little low because…’ etc.)
- Suggesting another time that could work (Eg: ‘How about we schedule in some fun on…’)
- Finding an alternative to connect that still involves closeness (Eg: physical affection like massages or cuddles, or a simple conversation)
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8. Talk About Sex Often
Figuring out the sexual problem and getting out of a sexless relationship will take time and consistent work. So both of you must constantly be communicating with each other.
Have regular conversations about desire and emotional and physical intimacy in your marriage or relationship. These conversations don’t always have to be serious — make them fun and playful or tender and romantic.
Sure, it can be tough to talk regularly about your feelings. But, when you do, you will become closer than before. Focus on being compassionate with each other and work together towards your goals.
Bonus: Consult A Sex Therapist Or Relationship Therapist
Whether you’re a married couple or in a romantic relationship, working through intimacy issues on your own can be tough. This is especially true if you and/or your partner have deeply rooted problems around sex.
A good way to navigate this is to consider couples therapy or sex therapy.
Couples therapy (or a relationship therapist) can offer a safe space for partners to talk about their issues and strengthen their emotional intimacy in the relationship or marriage.
On the other hand, a sex therapist will focus on helping resolve specific intimacy problems and increase sexual interest between a couple.
Ready To Have A Great Sex Life?
Use the tips provided and spend time talking to each other daily. Once you hit upon the right formula for sexual intimacy, continue to nurture it (don’t just stop communicating once you do!).
Remember to consult a sex or relationship therapist if either of you feels the need for it.
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